Documenting the worship of Rama in Bengal history

The curious case of Rama in West Bengal (written by me) Mahakavi Krritibas Ojha (1381–1461), a well known poet from Bengal, was the author of “Sri Rampanchali,” the Bengali version of the Sanskrit Ramayan. While he had largely changed the narrative of Valmiki’s Ramayan and made many additions of his own (making Ram quite different…

Rabindranath Tagore and a glimpse into some of his paintings

“From our very childhood habits are formed and knowledge is imparted in such a manner that our life is weaned away from nature and our mind and the world are set in opposition from the beginning of our days. Thus the greatest of educations for which we came prepared is neglected, and we are made…

The Dolls and Masks of Bengal: a depiction through pictures

The history of Bengal goes long back archaeologically, wherein tools from the Stone Age era dating back to almost 20,000 years have been found from various excavated sites. In historical texts, we find that the epic Mahabharata talks of this area as divided into different kingdoms: Magadha, Banga, Pundra, Anga, and Suhma. Each part was…

Exploring the history of tea

Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things ~ Chaim Pot. Every afternoon like clockwork my room door opens at quarter to four in the afternoon, and even before I can look up from my laptop screen to see who it is, I know who it is. My indomitable maid…

Traversing the Ganges, from Old Times to New – Part I

A lifeline that has defined human civilisation. A river that holds a cosmos in itself,  a fascinating  world of flora and fauna, unseen from above, yet pulsating below, under tranquil waters. (Pic – Yamuna in Agra. Yamuna is the largest tributary of the river Ganges) In a land where infrequent monsoons are held as the main season,…

Durga Puja : A Daughter’s Homecoming

Durga Puja. The very name sounds musical to the ears of any Bengali. The festival, which celebrates the worship of the devi Durga, is synonymous with clear blue autumnal skies, white fluffy clouds, bright sunshine, and fields full of kash phool. The festival also signifies a long holiday: to the Bengalis that stay in Kolkata,…

The Journey of Kalighat Patachitra

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” as Plato had once said and it holds true for Kalighat patachitra. With their lack of symmetry in human figures and sense of proportions, they often fail to impress the eyes of a realist. However, these paintings appeal to many art lovers with their bright colours, bold…